Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Zogby Redux?

The poll of polls
On October 21, 2013 I did this post about the curious results from the Rasmussen Reports polls since the founder of Rasmussen Reports, Scott Rasmussen left his post there to found a digital research group called the Rasmussen Media Group, LLC.  I had noticed, especially a couple of weeks before I did the post, how every single day, the Rasmussen poll of the president's approval rating, was an outlier [giving a high approval rating for the president] in Real Clear Politics compared to the other polls.  And I don't mean it was just an outlier by one or two points of the Real Clear Politics average of polls, but by between 5-7 points higher every day.

I jokingly wondered if Rasmussen Reports had been taken over by some left wing Democrats who were manipulating the methodology used when Scott Rasmussen had been there.   Now I am not joking but wondering if that is the case.  Because I did that post more than two weeks ago and the outlier position of Rasmussen has been there every day since I did that post.  So, for more than a month The Rasmussen Reports poll has been a high outlier of the president's approval rating.

Last month [October], while most polls had the president's approval rating dropping, Rasmussen actually showed that the president increased his approval rating by 1 point.

Could a coincidence last for more than a month in polling?   Today [Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013], the Gallup poll for the first time has the president' approval rating under 40% at 39%.   Today in Rasmussen it is 48%. 

Let us look at the Real Clear Politics average of polls from their great website.

President Obama job approval
Polling Data
PollDateSampleApprove Disapprove Spread
RCP Average10/17 - 11/4--43.451.9 -8.5
Gallup11/2 - 11/41500 A3953 -14
Rasmussen Reports11/2 - 11/41500 LV4851 -3
GWU/Battleground10/27 - 10/311000 LV4552 -7
Reuters/Ipsos10/25 - 10/291660 A4052 -12
The Economist/YouGov10/26 - 10/28662 RV4454 -10
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl10/25 - 10/28800 A4251 -9
FOX News10/20 - 10/221020 RV4153 -12
CBS News10/18 - 10/211007 A4649 -3
ABC News/Wash Post10/17 - 10/20RV4651 -5
CNN/Opinion Research10/18 - 10/20RV4353 -10
As you can see from the results above while the Real Clear Politics average of the approval rating is at 43.4% with a negative 8.5% spread [disapprove vs approve]

Rasmussen on the other hand has a 48% approval rating [a 4.6% higher outlier] and a negative spread of only 3% [a 5.5% outlier from the RCP average].   If this happened only one or two days or even one or two weeks, you could write it off to being an anomaly.  But when this outlier position, always to the high side, has occurred every day for more than a month, it makes me question why. 

I am not a pollster or statistics expert, so I admit I could be all wet.   I just wish, like I opined in my previous post, someone like Nate Silver, the pollster and statistics guru of the New York Times [@fivethirtyeight on twitter], would do some investigation. 

At one time Zogby used to be a respected poll like Rasmussen, but with some curious results and a curious methodology used, it has become persona non grata in the world of polls.   The Real Clear Politics does not [and that has been for a long time] use the Zogby polls anymore.

Will Rasmussen possibly become Zogby redux?

UPDATE:   I noticed today that the Rasmussen Reports poll has the president's approval rating down to 46%.   Finally down to that low [which is still above the low 40's that most of the other polls show but at least not a huge outlier like it has been for more than a month].   That is the lowest rating it has been in more than a month.  Maybe the Tales reporting on this has finally had an effect on the methodology used or more likely that is wishful thinking on The Tales part.  :-)     We will see if Rasmussen finally has gotten out of outlier status or if this is just a one day phenomena. 


Anonymous said...

Glad you are following this. Seems has been an outlier for approval rating since they fired founder. Even that Virginia poll that had cuncinelli at like 35% was way off. Curious how long they can keep calling it Rasmussen Reports after founder forced to leave. Contractual issues I imagine. But not same organization for sure.

Big Mike said...

Thanks anonymous for your comment. And it continues even today many weeks after my original publication. If you check every other poll inRCP has Obama's approval near40 and below. Rassmussen has him at 46 -??? Something is up.